What to do when you are injured?
This is my knee. Well, it's a picture of what my knee is going through right now. It will heal, in time, thankfully only a couple of weeks of prescribed activities should get me back up and moving. My sprain happened because of over use, lack of stretching and warming up, and probably improper footwear. My dog ran into me a couple of times as well, that was not a good feeling.
As soon as I felt the pain and discomfort I went to see my doctor who suggested R.I.C.E. which stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. So rest from running...that hurt, I love to run; apply ice to reduce swelling and pain, later apply heat, that forces me to sit and stay put for long periods of time; compress with a knee brace or bandage to provide support and stability; and of course elevate, again to help reduce the swelling in the area and aid in tissue repair. I read another variation which is HiRICE, that one includes hydration and ibuprophen.
I have been feeling better following the instructions given by my PCP and hopefully soon I'll start running short easy runs with a modified stride. This also qualifies me for a shopping trip to pick up new shoes and maybe new compression socks too.
But the question is what to do while you're down with an injury? Well, injuries in the legs shouldn't stop me from doing something for my core strength and upper body. I've been trying to stay on top of things with all that because it doesn't take much for me to add a few inches around the middle just because I'm bored and sitting for long periods of time...ugh I can only watch so much TV before I start to go stir crazy.
Today I'm picking up a foam roller. If you have sore muscles or just to get a good massage through all your muscles I would totally recommend the foam rollers. Some even come with a CD to show you all the different things you can do or you can just go online and find a variety of exercises. Either way, this is one piece of equipment you'll not regret buying. Just roll your sore muscles on it for 3-4 minutes at a time and you'll feel like you've been to a massage parlor. It works wonders.
I've been working on crunches, leg lifts, Pilates exercises, and the elliptical trainer. As long as it doesn't hurt or upset my knee, I'm good.
Moving forward after I heel completely I need to focus more on strengthening the muscles in my legs, glutes, quads, calves, as much as I do my upper body. Runners tend to forget that running alone is not nearly enough to maintain good form and be able to run far or fast. It is extremely important to get and stay strong through strength training exercises, plyometrics, isometrics and cross training over all. It is just as important to eat well, rest, and pay attention to the changes in the body...if something hurts, have it checked out ASAP. Better to be safe than sorry.
What exercises do you do when you are recovering from an injury?
It has been an interesting experience for me to be injured.